Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas recipe yield a tender, flavorful pork. This carnitas recipe is easy to make in the crock pot and perfect for serving a crowd. Pork Carnitas taste incredible in a warm tortilla topped with avocado, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
I’ve made this recipe for slow cooker pork carnitas for my family for years. The flavor is so amazing! It’s simple to put together and let it cook in the crockpot all day. We love it served in a warm tortilla, but it’d also be delicious on a salad, in quesadillas, or served on a roll as a sandwich.
What are Carnitas?
Carnitas is a Mexican dish consisting of pork that’s braised or simmered in oil. I simplify the technique here by slow cooking in a crockpot. Slow cooking tenderizes the pork and in addition allows you to use little or no oil in the cooking process.
How do you serve Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas?
You can serve carnitas in a variety of ways. Most traditional is served like a taco on a warm corn or flour tortilla. Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas are also delicious on a salad, in quesadillas, or served on a roll as a sandwich.
Why use Dr. Pepper or Coca Cola in Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas?
The can of Dr. Pepper or Coke in this carnitas recipe serves 2 purposes. First, the acidity in the soda works to tenderize the meat. Second, the soda imparts a sweet, unique flavor that is incredible when combined with the spices!
What type of pork roast for Crockpot Pork Carnitas?
I most often use a boneless pork shoulder roast for slow cooker pork carnitas, but you can use just about any type of pork roast. Leaner roasts will yield slightly tougher carnitas, but the slow cooking process significantly helps in tenderizing the meat.
Ingredients needed for Crock Pot Pork Carnitas
Here’s what you’ll need to make carnitas:
— pork roast (3-8 lbs)
— chili powder
— onion, quartered — I love using sweet onion
— Dr.Pepper or Coca Cola soda (12 oz)
— brown sugar
How to make Slow Cooker Carnitas
This recipe for Crockpot Pork Carnitas is SO simple!
You can use a bone-in roast or a boneless roast; it doesn’t really matter since you’ll be cutting the meat off the bone anyways. First, trim your pork roast of excess fat and cutting into 2″ chunks.
Spray slow cooker to make clean up easier. Then, add ingredients into slow cooker and stir.
Cook on low for about 6-8 hours, until pork is tender and falling apart. After that, shred the pork with a fork and remove onion pieces.
Serve in a tortilla with sour cream, cilantro and sliced avocados. Enjoy!
Like this easy slow cooker recipe? Try these other crock pot recipes ~
- Easy Crock pot Hawaiian Chicken recipe
- Best Crockpot Beef Stew recipe
- Best Crock Pot Pork Roast
- CrockPot Turkey Breast
- Crock Pot Sweet Pork
- How to make Crock Pot Shredded Chicken
- Best Crockpot Pork Carnitas
- Easy Crockpot Madras Lentils
- Dr. Pepper Crockpot Roast
- Best Chili Recipe
- Crockpot Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- 1 pork roast 3-8 lbs
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 large onion quartered
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 can Dr. Pepper or Coca Cola soda 12 oz
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Trim excess fat from pork roast. Cut remaining meat into into 2″ chunks.
- Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients into slow cooker. Stir.
- Cook on low for about 6-8 hours, until pork is tender and falling apart. Shred with a fork and remove onion pieces.
- Serve in a tortilla with sour cream, cilantro and sliced avocados. Enjoy!
How to Cook Carnitas in an Instant Pot
- Set your IP to Saute so that the pot begins heating up while you gather the ingredients. Add all ingredients to your IP. Push "cancel" then "Pressure Cook" and set the timer to 60 minutes. Toggle the pressure release to "sealing." It will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure. After cooking, I always let my roasts Natural Pressure Release (NPR) because I think the consistency is better. The full process in the IP takes about 2 hours.
Looking for other Mexican recipes that you can make easily? Try this Instant Pot Steak Fajitas recipe here!
How long does it take to slow cook pork?
When you cook a pork roast in a slow cooker, how long you cook it for depends on how large your roast is. I use a small 3-4 pound boneless pork roast for this recipe and I like to cook it in a slow cooker on LOW for 10-12 hours. You can cook it on HIGH for 6-8 hours, but I think the texture and flavor is better when you cook it on low.
I cook this Pork Roast recipe in a 4.5 quart basic crock pot. (Basic but so pretty!)
Can you make Carnitas in an Instant Pot?
Yes, you can make carnitas in an instant pot! I’ve also begun making pork in my Instant Pot and it’s AMAZING. It’s quite a bit faster than using a Slow Cooker (it takes about 2 hours total!) and I think I like the results even more! I use a small, 2-lb Pork Sirloin Tip Roast from Costco and add the remaining ingredients. It’s fall apart tender and so flavorful! Instant Pot instructions included below- I’ve even made it in my baby 3-qt Instant Pot with great success!
How to make Pork recipes in an Instant Pot
Set your IP to Saute so that the pot begins heating up while you gather the ingredients. Add all ingredients to your IP. Push “cancel” then “Pressure Cook” and set the timer to 60 minutes. Toggle the pressure release to “sealing.” It will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure. After cooking, I always let my roasts Natural Pressure Release (NPR) because I think the consistency is better. The full process in the IP takes about 2 hours.
Instant Pot Carnitas tips:
–Remember that varying sizes of roasts that the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME. Larger roasts will just take longer to come to pressure and to pressure release. I generally use a smaller 2-3 lb roast. If you use a 5-6 pound roast, you might want to account for 3-4 hours total of cooking time.
— You don’t have to cut the pork roast up if you don’t want to! It saves time and is just easier to not cut it up when you’re cooking in an IP.
— I have an older IP and have actually never gotten a “burn notice.” I hear the newer ones are a bit more temperamental. If you get burn notices often in your pot, pour in another 1/3- 1/2 cup of soda on top of your roast, after adding in all other ingredients.
Looking for more Pork recipes? Check these out:
- Sausage Potato Boat Recipe
- Best Pork Tenderloin Marinade recipe
- Easy Lil Smokies & Meatballs Recipe
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Recipe
- Crock Pot Ham Recipe
- Bacon Wrapped Meatballs Recipe
- Grilled Italian Sausage Recipe
- Slow Cooker Pork Roast Recipe
- Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Filet Recipe
- Sausage and Peppers Recipe
This carnitas recipe makes the best pork carnitas I’ve ever tasted. Easy slow cooker carnitas, that are unbelievably simple to make and SO tasty!